POLITICS + GOVERNMENT

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announces new funding for Utah

Jul 29, 2022, 7:00 PM

Utah transportation funding...

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg talks about new infrastructure projects to help build resilience to the impacts of extreme weather during a press conference with Gov. Spencer Cox outside of the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Friday, July 29, 2022. Photo credit: Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg was in Utah Friday to announce new transportation funding for the state.

According to Buttigieg, the Protect Program will involve $7.3 billion going to states over the course of the next five years. This money is part of the larger $1.2 trillion infrastructure package that was passed earlier this year. It is expected that Utah will receive tens of millions of those funds.

“We are proud to launch a first-of-its-kind $7.3 billion-dollar initiative to modernize America’s infrastructure to withstand extreme weather,” Buttigieg said. “So that, the roads, bridges, transit and water ways that people rely on can stay open when you need them the most.”

Buttigieg says the funding will allow states to be better prepared for future disasters.

“States can use this funding to do things like redesign and rebuild bridges to withstand flooding,” he said. “They can build evacuation routes so that people can escape disasters. And first responders can get to and from sites more safely.”

Gov. Spencer Cox says the money will go toward helping to ensure that things such as wildfires and burn scars aren’t causing additional problems that could potentially be life threatening. The governor says those things are already in the state budget. However, he said there is never enough left over to do what the state needs to do to protect from the next storm.

Mark Jones contributed to this article.

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Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announces new funding for Utah